The Japanese Azuki red beans (also referred to as Adzuki breans), literally transliterated as ‘small beans’ are the smaller cousins of the larger soy beans. They are popularly used in Asian and Chinese cuisines to cook desserts and sweet soups such as the more common red bean soup and sweet soup with red bean balls. The Japanese have lots of snacks and sweets that make use of Azuki red bean pastes, such as our favourite daifuku, anpan and dorayaki. Though a tad too sweet for my almost middle-aged tastebuds, they never fail to look tempting and captivating everytime I pass by these sweets at the Japanese supermarkets.
One thing about my tastebud that has not yet changed with age is my preference for red bean popsicles. This dedicated love for red bean popsicles go back to my golden childhood days when red bean popsicles were weekly after-dinner affairs at the mama shop downstairs. The Potong red bean popsicles back then were a lot nicer, thicker, creamier and tastier. I loved them loads. The Potong red bean popsicles nowadays are a lot stalkier, icier and not as thick and creamy as they used to be. It’s probably time to change brand loyalty.
So then it gives me a good excuse to make these popsicles for myself at home, and to make it the Japanese way for a change since I’ve had a go at making the relatively more Chinese version using red bean sweet soup leftovers. This recipe did not fail to delight me at all – the popsicles turned out really creamy and thick, all thanks to the inclusion of heavy cream and egg yolks. They didn’t look as red as I’ve wanted them to be though, but hey, we all know that looks ain’t everything!
- Milk: 250ml
- Heavy cream: 125ml
- Egg yolk: 2
- Caster sugar: 10g
- Azuki red bean paste: 100g (more if you like your popsicles thicker)
- Combine milk and heavy cream in a pot. Cook on low heat till it simmers.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk together egg yolk and caster sugar till pale and fluffy.
- Add red bean paste into whisked mixture. Continue whisking for 5 min till smooth.
- Add whisked mixture into milk mixture. Return to heat.
- Cook on low heat for 5min, stirring continuously.
- Chill mixture in fridge for 2hrs.
- Stir before pouring mixture into popsicle mould.
- Freeze for 2hrs before serving.
- This recipe was kindly adapted from Chopstick Chronicles’ ‘Creamy Red Bean Popsicles‘.
- I used a lot lesser sugar in my recipe as the red bean paste was sweet enough. In fact, none is required especially if you are making this for young children!
- I skipped the step that required the mixture to be whisked inside an ice-cream maker, which was what the original recipe suggested might help to distribute the red beans in the popsicles so that they do not all concentrate at the bottom of the mould. You could try to if you have one at home. I did but I was too lazy to switch it on!